Saturday, July 26, 2008

Earthquakes & Tidal Waves

There has been a tremendous earthquake in the form of an SNP victory over New Labour in Glasgow East constituency, the heartland of Scottish Labour. There was a massive 22% swing to the SNP dissolving the 13 thousand Labour majority from the last election to an SNP slim majority of 365. 

This is huge!!! Gordon Brown has lost major elections all over the UK and now in his backyard. Glasgow has been a hotbed of Labour support for generations. Its practically synonymous with being Glaswedgian. John Mason, the newly elected MP, has been a dedicated councillor in Glasgow East for ten years. He is popular but not charismatic. This was not some random protest vote. This was a vote of discontent. But also, a vote for change. 

Everything I have read about the vote yesterday, has detailed that the real deciding factor was in the professional vote - the working vote - after six o'clock. Young professionals, and not so young professionals came to the polls to express a desire for a different political future for Glasgow. Contrary to what Labour hoped, independence for Scotland is no longer the bogey man that has voters scurrying to all corners. 

I don't believe that somehow the voters in Glasgow have suddenly changed their ideological perspective. I believe that underneath the city beats a heart of socialism. However, I do believe that those voters now perceive the Scottish Labour Party for what it truly is - a branch of the UK Party. The voters in Glasgow East are not asking for a change in political ideology. They are asking for a change in political perspective. They now see their future as inherently tied to Scotland. They wish Scotland to be their political perspective.  

The New Labour Party is hemorrhaging at the seams. I feel very sorry for Gordon Brown. He is witnessing his dreams and ambitions dissolving before his eyes. The keys to 10 Downing Street, handed to him from Tony Blair, were a poisoned chalice. The American sub prime economic melt down, eight years of economic greed in Wall Street has destabilised the UK economy. Biofuels have created a global food crisis, and we are beginning to feel the affects of the finite nature of carbon fuel. These global crises have landed on Gordon Brown's desk. 

This is a very difficult situation for Gordon but even without it he would not succeed. I feel sorry for him because he wants so desperately to be a leader but he lacks completely the charm, personality and charisma that the job requires. He tries desperately to be something he is not. He tries to please everyone without staying true to who he is as a person. 

I believe that Scotland is on a path to independence. I think that a Tory government in Westminster will only increase the pace. I would like to see Gordon Brown wake up to this reality and come home. A politician of his skill and experience could have a positive impact in a new Scotland. I think Gordon Brown is an example of what Scots have done for three hundred years: exported their talents to the running of the British Empire from the sidelines. 

Scotland is finding its voice, is finding its confidence and realising what its future could hold. Scotland as an independent nation can come home to its socialist leanings and follow the examples set by our Scandinavian neighbours. Labour had to re-invent itself "New" to gain acceptance in the South of England and in doing so lost its ideological base. In an independent Scotland Labour can return home to its socialist aspirations of wealth distribution, universal healthcare and education. 

There has been an earthquake in Scotland and behind it comes a tidal wave that will end in the dissolution of the Act of Union and the rebirth of the Scottish nation. 

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vegan for the Future

I am a flip flopper. I have flip flopped between many eating regimes in the past. My longest was when I was vegetarian for 8 years. I, similarly to most humans, like the taste of meat and I drool over a prize cut of steak sizzling on the grill. However I know from my brief year as a vegan, that whilst my taste buds earn for the taste of meat, my body actually prefers not to eat meat or dairy. I was happiest when I had the discipline to eat vegan and practice yoga, both things that I have strayed from - my blasted taste buds get me every time!

I have been reading headlines about the world food shortage and feeling guilty. My Western lifestyle in the hedonistic wasteful land of America has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in fuel costs that have subsequently driven food prices up. Yet my, small fuel efficient car is not the only culprit. I know from my time as a vegan that eating grains, nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruit places significantly less stress on our fragile planet than eating meat everyday. I have followed my errant taste buds to the wasteful place of eating meat often and daily, and I feel guilty.

I am not advocating that everyone become vegan but I am hoping more people become less addicted to the notion of meat everyday. ( I see the irony of such a statement when I am moving to Houston, Texas for the summer .... Texans giving up meat ....?). I feel even more guilty as I really should be vegan because I feel much better physically as well as spiritually, eating that way. Giving up meat, or seriously curtailing the amount you eat, is now more than ever, a political statement. It says that I am unwilling to take an unfair portion of the worlds resources just to satisfy the cravings of my errant taste buds.
I need to do this for my health, for my peace of mind and because whilst I give up meat there will be someone in China adding more meat to their plate. So maybe my effort will at least help balance the status quo.

This time it will be more challenging for me. When I was vegan I didn't know I was allergic to gluten (celiac). I now do ... I'm going to have to be very disciplined but I know it will be worth it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

War = Golf?

The idiot, ahem ... I mean the President of the US has announced that he too has sacrificed for American freedom. All those families who have sent loved ones overseas into an uncertain war can now feel reassured that their commander in chief is feeling their pain through his own self sacrifice.

George W. Bush has made the tremendous self sacrifice of giving up GOLF!!!

Not surprisingly most service personnel and their families have not felt their hearts warm to the news but rather their blood pressure rise and started to feel rather hot under the collar!!

Can someone please wake me up when this idiot has left office .... thanks.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A True Historic Leader

I have just watched an old interview with Obama on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS - you can see it here. Wow, I am even more impressed than I was before. This man has such a confidence, an assuredness that is inspiring, yet at the same time he exhibits a modesty that does not appear false in any way. I feel that he is one of those rare individuals that can change history, and make a difference positively in this world. His message of 'hope' is not spin, not a gimmick, not a political catchphrase to lure votes, he truly believes that he can give hope back to this country and the world.

He talks about himself as someone who has lived in another country, someone who knows what it is like to have family members struggling to survive in poverty, and someone who has worked in the housing projects seeing firsthand the real issues people have to deal with. He is also someone who has a grandmother in Africa living in a hut without running water and electricity in a village that has been decimated by AIDS. I get goosebumps at the thought of the American President being such a person - as he says, when he goes to Africa and sees suffering it really means something to him personally.

He has never supported the Iraq war and I thank him for that. I remember sitting in Scotland during the build up rubbing my eyes with disbelief. I felt like the small boy in the Emperor's New Clothes. I agree with Obama when he attributes the support for the Iraq war being a direct consequence of the political game that is played in Washington. I think he is correct when he says that it blinds good people to what is directly in front of them and they find themselves doing what is expected of them.

I am excited. I truly have hope that America will rise from the ashes and be a positive place to live and a positive influence in the world. This country was founded on such wonderful principles of liberty and equality. It has not always found it easy to follow in the spirit of its beginning but in Barack Obama I believe this country will find a way back to what is good and great about the United States of America.

Now if only I could vote ..... (I probably won't get citizenship in time .... close ....)
...... so I'll be pounding the pavement and hassling all citizens I know ... you have been warned!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Obama/Sebelius 2008

An American Expat in England suggested Sebelius for Obama's VP. I knew very little about her but having done a bit of research she may be onto something. Obama/Sebelius 2008?
Maybe they can have the thrilling uplifting parts of Sibelius symphonies for their adverts!! :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Money down the drain ....

Clinton lends her campaign 6.4 MILLION Dollars!!! That is a lot of money that could be spent on so many many things ...... granted its her money to spend as she sees fit but really .... think of the many many charities that could make a big difference in peoples' lives with such a figure. Instead this money is going to be spent on advertisements telling us how Barack is bad and Hillary is good, spent on filling up the gas tanks of tour buses and aeroplanes, the printing of fliers, banners, bumper stickers, badges, pins and many many leaflets. The world has precious resources and I'm not convinced this is a good way of using them. In addition to this, funding this faltering campaign makes the Obama campaign spend more money on the same things using more and more precious resources .... plus shouldn't this money be saved to battle the dinosaur in November.

I'm not sure I could trust someone with my taxes who is willing to pour their own money down the drain like this. Enough is enough!

Enough already!!

Enough ... please let this be the end of the road! After talking like a redneck, downing beers with whiskey chasers and proposing that a savings of $28 for the average gas guzzling American over the summer would make a difference, Hillary lost North Carolina and as of just now looks like she may hold Indiana ... but by the skin of her teeth!! Considering the battering Obama has been taking in the national media and he has done so well, this really should be over.

I am sad. Not because I am a fan of Hillary Clinton but because I am so sad to see a strong, incredibly bright woman prostitute herself politically in order to get elected. She has been brainwashed by the Washington political game to the extent that she has lost her own integrity. This is such a tragedy. I would have had so much respect for her if she had been positive, stayed true to her intelligence. Instead she pulled out anything she could find to fight dirty and sadly that included making a fool of herself: the Bosnia sniper fire tall tale was ludicrous; the remodeling herself as a member of the working class when she so clearly is an East Coast privileged member of the elite; the lowering of her IQ with statements like she doesn't believe in Economists (on her gas tax 'holiday'); the lowering of her sophisticated position as an intelligent woman to that of a girl who can drink beer and shots with the guys. It is all so incredibly sad.

So please, please let this be the end. I have no desire to see Hillary destroy herself further. She is such a talented woman and this country needs intelligent talented people right now, desperately. My only hope is that she has the self respect to bow out gracefully. My fear is that she won't and she will end up looking like a fool.

I am very pleased for Obama, I am also sad it had to come at such a price.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Can I wake up now, please? I cannot seriously believe that London voted Boris Johnson as their Mayor!! Really???
This guy is an idiot, a snob, and a buffoon. Can Londoners not see what electing someone with those credentials has done to America and the world? They want that for their city??
They've all gone mad. I understand if they wanted to get Ken Livingstone out (he's done some stuff some folks don't like, although I think he's done a decent job but I don't live in London so I can't really say), but Boris? Couldn't they have voted in the Liberal Democrat candidate? He's not an idiot surely ....

I am so ashamed and embarrassed for London. Good job its not a city I would ever wish to live in (big smelly sprawling grey mass of yeuch).

Can I wake up? Now? Pleeeeeease .......???